The Pakistan Peoples Party representative and prominent expert on law spoke exclusively to ARY News regarding the legal aspects behind suspension of Saulat Mirza’s death sentence. Saulat Mirza had gunned down Managing Director of KESC Shahid Hamid, his driver Ashraf Brohi and Hamid’s bodyguard Khan Akbar in July 1997. For these triple murders, Mirza was sentenced to death by hanging in May 1999.
To implement the condemned’s death sentence, black warrants were issued on March 11 2015 according to which Mirza was to be hanged on the morning of 19th march 2015. Last night, the Interior Ministry sent a summary to the Presidency in which it was pleaded to delay the death sentence of Saulat Mirza. As per the directives of the President, Mirza’s death sentence was postponed. Dr.Babar Awan was of the view that due to suspension of the death sentence, a handful of legal and constitutional complications had arisen.
He said that the first objection that would arise would be on the point that if the President can pardon any condemned man after his black warrants have been issued, then he can pardon or differ any criminal’s sentence at the last minute.
He also stated that it would have to be seen if the President’s temporary suspension of the death sentence was in accordance with the Pakistan Penal Code section 24, 4 and Article 10-A of the constitution of Pakistan.
Pakistan Penal Code Section 4
As per the PPC section 4, if any Pakistani is found guilty of any crime committed anywhere in the world, he can be tried by Pakistani courts.
Pakistan Penal Code Section 24
According to PPC Section 24, anyone is sentenced to punishment who is found guilty of dishonesty. Any untoward act which illegally benefits or causes injury to another person, comes under the purview of ‘dishonesty’.
Article 10-A of the Constitution of Pakistan
According to this article, any person who is deemed as an accomplice to a crime of any nature or is registered with the crime, has the right to have his trial conducted in full accordance with the law and he has the right to independently follow that trial.
Dr.Babar Awan stated that putting aside all these legal points based on this issue, it has impacted MQM like a sting operation. He also disclosed that as per section 337 of the PPC, Saulat Mirza can be made to give his testimony as a witness.
On the other hand, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, whilst speaking to media on the issue of deferment of Mirza’s death sentence, said,”The Interior Ministry received a request from the administration of Mach Jail regarding deferment of Saulat Mirza’s death sentence on the basis of his health concerns.”